Apple Engineers Paid Below-Market Salaries

But they get to have the most exciting job ever

By on 19 Jun 2008, 20:21 GMT
Apple is allegedly paying its software engineers very little money compared with rival companies, TechCrunch is reporting, pointing to a Glassdoor find. According to the ratings and reviews from Glassdoor, "the average [salary] based on ten submissions is $97,840."

That's a yearly salary, of course "and the range is between $80,000 and $150,000, with annual cash bonuses coming in anywhere from $20,000 to $45,000," the Glassdoor reviews reveal.

"Adding salary and bonus together, the Google engineers that have entered information on Glassdoor average $112,573 in take-home pay. (And then there are stock options on top of that). Yahoo and Microsoft engineers get about the same salaries, but smaller bonuses, leaving their take-home pay at an average of $105,642 and $105,375, respectively," the website notes. Surprisingly, software engineers over at Apple are making around $89,000, "on average." However, unlike Microsoft or Google's software engineers, Apple's tech-savvy guys "get to create some of the most loved products on Earth."

It is believed that, sooner or later, Apple's underpaid engineers are going to scram, occupying spots at the company's rivals. While cutting pay might have been excusable when Apple was going through rough times, now is clearly not the case for this anymore, the same report mentions.

"If Apple were to pay its engineers the same salaries as Google, then its R&D budget would increase by 26 percent. This amount (26 percent of the R&D budget) is how much Apple saves each year by paying below-market salaries," says Hurvitz, director of server development at Vringo, according to TechCrunch. "In 2003 and 2004, the effect of underpaying its engineers made a huge difference to Apple's bottom line. In 2003, these savings turned around Apple's year: from a loss to a small profit. In 2004, they doubled the profit. However, once Apple's earnings began to skyrocket in 2005, the effect of the R&D savings became much smaller: just six percent of the net income in 2007, for example. Paying low salaries to its engineers was a lifesaver for Apple during its difficult times. But now that Apple is immensely profitable there's no more excuse for this practice," Hurvitz concludes.

The Glassdoor website collects company reviews and real salaries from employees of some of the largest companies out there. The web page then displays them anonymously for all members to see.

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Software engineer salaries based on data as of June 5, 2008
   Software engineer salaries based on data as of June 5, 2008